The Fifties

The 50s - the technology, science, and inventions

First McDonald's
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The 50s have always been described as a conservative period socially, however, advancements in technology were about to change all that. During the 50s, television became the dominant media. While television had been invented many years previous, the 50s saw nearly every family buying a television set, and nearly everyone watching television for longer and longer periods of time.

Television broadcasts became our number one source of news, information, and entertainment during the 50s. Live news broadcasts were now possible coast to coast, and this has changed our world forever.

1950

  • The first credit card (Diners) invented by Ralph Schneider.

1951

  • Super glue invented.
  • Power steering invented by Francis W. Davis.
  • Charles Ginsburg invented the first video tape recorder (VTR).

1952

1953

    1954

    • Oral contraceptives invented - the pill.
    • The first nonstick teflon pan produced.
    • The solar cell invented by Chaplin, Fuller and Pearson.
    • Ray Kroc started McDonalds.

    1955

    1956

    • The first computer hard disk used.
    • The hovercraft invented by Christopher Cockerell.
    • Bette Nesmith Graham invented "Mistake Out," later renamed Liquid Paper, to paint over mistakes made with a typewriter.

    1957

    • Fortran (computer language) invented.

    1958

    1959

    • The internal pacemaker invented by Wilson Greatbatch.
    • Barbie Doll invented.
    • Jack Kilby and Robert Noyce both invent the microchip.
    The 60s have been described by historians as the ten years having the most significant changes in history. By the end of the 60s humanity had entered the spaceage by putting a man on the moon. The 60s were influenced by the youth of the post-war baby boom - a generation with a fondness for change and far-out gadgets.

    1960

      1961

      • Valium invented.
      • The nondairy creamer invented.

      1962

      • The audio cassette invented.
      • The fiber-tip pen invented by Yukio Horie.
      • Spacewar, the first computer video game invented.
      • Dow Corp invents silicone breast implants.

      1963

      1964

      • Acrylic paint invented.
      • Permanent-press fabric invented.
      • BASIC (an early computer language) is invented by John George Kemeny and Tom Kurtz.

      1965

      1966

      • Electronic Fuel injection for cars invented.

      1967

      1968

      • The computer mouse invented by Douglas Engelbart.
      • The first computer with integrated circuits made.
      • Robert Dennard invented RAM (random access memory).

      1969

        The 70s began the age of the practical computer made possible by the invention of the floppy disk and the microprocessor that occurred during the 70s.

        1970

        • The daisy-wheel printer invented.
        • The floppy disk invented by Alan Shugart.

        1971

        • The dot-matrix printer invented.

        1972

        1973

        • Gene splicing invented.
        • The ethernet (local computer network) invented by Robert Metcalfe and Xerox.
        • Bic invents the disposable lighter.

        1974

        • The post-it notes invented by Arthur Fry.
        • Giorgio Fischer, a gynecologist from Rome, Italy, invents liposuction.

        1975

        1976

        1977

        1978

        • Dan Bricklin and Bob Frankston invented the VisiCalc spreadsheet.
        • The artificial heart Jarvik-7 invented by Robert K. Jarvik.

        1979

        Many of the most popular consumer products still around today were invented in the 80s for example: cell phones and home computers.

        The 80s saw the rise of the multi-national corporations, while the growth rate during the 80s was 3.2% per year, the highest 9 year rate in American history, a complex combination of causes (economic, financial, legislative and regulatory) led to the extraordinary number of bank failures in the 80s.

        And a new definition of the expression "corporate greed" was found.

        1980

        • The hepatitis-B vaccine invented.

        1981

        1982

        • Human growth hormone genetically engineered.

        1983

        • The Apple Lisa invented.
        • Soft bifocal contact lens invented.
        • First Cabbage Patch Kids sold.
        • Programmer Jaron Lanier first coins the term "virtual reality".

        1984

        1985

        • Windows program invented by Microsoft.

        1986

        • A high-temperature super-conductor invented by J. Georg Bednorz and Karl A. Muller.
        • Synthetic skin invented by G. Gregory Gallico, III.
        • Fuji introduced the disposable camera.

        1987

        • The first 3-D video game invented.
        • Disposable contact lenses invented.

        1988

        • Digital cellular phones invented.
        • The RU-486 (abortion pill) invented.
        • Doppler radar invented by Christian Andreas Doppler.
        • Prozac invented at the Eli Lilly Company by inventor Ray Fuller.
        • The first patent for a genetically engineered animal is issued to Harvard University researchers Philip Leder and Timothy Stewart.
        • Ralph Alessio and Fredrik Olsen received a patent for the Indiglo nightlight. The bluish green light is used to illuminate the entire face of a watch.

          1989

          • High-definition television invented.
          The 90s saw the invention of the internet and the rise of Microsoft. The 90s saw the invention of genetic engineering, as well as cloning, and stem cell research.

          1990

            1991

            • The digital answering machine invented.

            1992

            1993

            • The pentium processor invented.

            1994

            • HIV protease inhibitor invented.

            1995

            • The Java computer language invented.
            • DVD (Digital Versatile Disc or Digital Video Disc) invented.

            1996

            • Web TV invented.

            1997

            1998

            1999

            • Scientists measure the fastest wind speed ever recorded on earth, 509 km/h(318 mph).
            • Tekno Bubbles patented.

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